Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphanage Haunted aka Newsham Park Hospital

Newsham Park Hospital -4

The Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphange, later to become the Newsham Park Hospital & Asylum, now stands derelict and almost abandoned. The building is vast and still has many medical relics left behind by its last inhabitants. It is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of its past.

History Of The Royal Liverpool Seaman’s Orphanage

The Royal Liverpool Seaman’s Orphanage in Liverpool was built to home orphaned children from fathers lost at sea. In 1868 led by James Beazley plans were drawn up to build the orphanage and funding was supplied by many of the UK’s largest Shipping Lines including White Star Line, builders of Titanic. The appointed architect was Sir Alfred Waterhouse.

The Duke of Edinburgh opening the Seamen's OrphanageIn 1870 land in Newsham Park was provided by the local council and work began on the orphanage. 11 September 1871. The first foundation stone was laid on  11th September 1871, the chapel foundation stone was laid on 1st August 1873 , and the North Wing opened its doors on 30th January 1874. The grand opening took place later on 20th September 1874 by the Duke Of Edinburgh, the “Sailor Prince” – fourth son of Queen Victoria, who was to visit the orphanage in 1896.

The Royal Warrant was awarded on one of Queen Victoria’s two visits to the Orphanage.

Works continued and the Laundry was opened in 1878, the Sanitorium on 7th May 1879, the Chaplains House built for the Rev. Drummond Anderson in 1880 (Architect : GE Grayson), the Victorian Swimming Baths (Architect : Alfred Culshaw) on 21st July 1900, the Boiler House on 1900, a Gymnasium in 1908 (Architect : Francis usher Holme), the Carter Preston School Block (Architect : Richard H Kelly) in March 1939 and also a Pavillion in 1939.

The children were taught to read and write as well as knitting and needlework for the girls and boys learned about carpentry and shoemaking.

1895 LIVERPOOL SEAMENS' ORPHAN INSTITUTIONBy 1918 with the First World War the orphanage housed 1000 orphans, 600 more than originally catered for.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the orphans were evacuated to Hill Bark, Frankby, Wirral, a property owned by shipbuilder Sir Ernest Royden . For the duration of World War two the site became a military hospital, nursing and operating on injured military personnel.

The premises suffered damage in the Liverpool Blitz when a bomb that failed to explode hit on 19th October 1940.

In 1946, preparations were made for the return to Newsham Park, but the Committee members were becoming increasingly concerned over the possible effect on the Orphanage of the great expansion in the country’s social services. These changes led to a gradual decline in the number of children living at the Orphanage. Additional new legislation prohibited children under 11 years of age being educated at the same school as older children, and made it illegal for young children to live in a school of an institutional character. Hence the Orphanage was closed on the 27 July 1949.

The Seamens Orphanage Chapel1874The land was returned to Newsham Park and in 1951.

It is worth noting that it was not just the legislation that brought about the closure of the orphanage.

Prior to World War One 80% of all shipping unfortunately came to an end at the bottom of the sea, hence there became a great demand for care for children who’s fathers were lost at sea. At the time the losses were considered an accepted hazard of the job and not too much effort was directed toward safety. Figures of lost personnel at sea were not kept or monitored.

It was only during and following the First and Second World Wars that the loss of shipping and valued trained crewmen became an issue.

The cost and loss of our military ships and our most experienced maritime personnel forced our ship builders to build safer ships and introduce safety processes to limit the loss of costly trained and experienced seamen.

Following this epiphany, shipping suddenly became safer and the requirement for orphanage’s became less important and the building became surplus to requirement.

 

Newsham Park Hospital & Asylum

Newsham Park HospitalThe land and buildings were sold to the Ministry Of Health and the Newsham Park Hospital opened its doors in 1954.

In 1965 the adjourning  chapel was demolished in 1965, a Health Centre is now on the site of the chapel.

The hospital developed its own psychiatric department and received an influx of patients with severe mental problems.

The hospital officially stopped taking new patients in 1988 and in 1992 all remaining patients and staff were relocated.

In 1992 with the closure of Rainhill Lunatic Asylum the inmates were moved to Newsham Park Hospital taking up 90% of its space and some £1.6 million was spent on the hospital so it could house its new patients. There are still notices posted on boards in the School block and paperwork in the property that are dated 1996. All records of patients and staff have been closed for 100 years from 1997 when the building was finally vacated of patients and staff.

In 1997 the property was brought by a property developer.

In December 2013 a Planning Application was made for planning consent to use part of the building as events venue, including kitchen facilities, dining restaurant and bar, function and seminar facilities and lay out external seating area and car parking with associated works.

 

Newsham Park Hospital Floor Plans Newsham Park Hospital Floor Plans

Newsham Park Hospital Today

When entering the building today visitors will find the main dining room, laundry, mortuary, chapel, a warren of corridors, dormitories, nine psychiatric wards, staircases (with anti-suicide grills), treatment rooms, kitchen, offices, laundry and tar filled swimming pool to name just the highlights. The most chilling is probably the top floor attic corridor which houses 14 ‘naughty’ cupboards, in which unruly children were held in solitary, pitch black confinement. This confinement was also rumoured to take place in the Boiler Room, with food being dropped through the coal hole above. Or perhaps it’s the mortuary with its own cremation pit where the bodies of dead orphans were burnt.

The Possible Hauntings Of Royal Liverpool Seaman’s Orphanage | Newsham Park Hospital

  • Doors are heard slamming on the top corridor where the children were shut in small cupboards as punishment. Dark shadows and voices have been heard throughout the staircases, wards and corridors.
  • Workmen’s tools have regularly gone missing, only to be found later in different parts of the building.
  • A child who died in one of the punishment rooms on the top floor.
  • A white mist has been seen in the psycho cinema where the patients were bound to chairs and left to watch film on a big pull down screen.
  • A nurse who regularly saw ghosts was found mysteriously dead on the staircase by the main corridor.
  • Psychiatric patients would be seen talking to children who weren’t there, as they were patients this was dismissed as lunacy.
  • The person who hanged themselves in the bell tower, a piece of rope still remains tied to the beam.
  • A horse has even been seen on the ground floor passing through the wards.

(The above was written by Paul Griffiths for Paranormal United & The Ghost Hunting Company. DO NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION. Many thanks to John McKenzie for his help in preparing this.)

Investigation Report With Phil Whyman’s Ghost Hunting Company on 26th April 2014. Written by Phil Whyman

VIGILS
Each vigil lasts approximately 45 minutes in duration.

1st Vigil
‘Zone 1’ (Ward)
Group A (Geoff & Gilly)
Human standing seance experiment was carried out. During this experiment a nurse who worked at Newsham when the building was a hospital came through, but no other detailed information given. Shadows were seen, and one lady in the group had the sensation of something touching her face. Several members in the group also experienced hot and cold flashes during this vigil.
END OF VIGIL.

1st Vigil
‘Naughty Boys’ corridor
Group B (Sara & Mandy)
Vigil began with a ouija board experiment, but this only produced very slight movement of the glass, and nothing significant. The sound of a voice (described as a cry or moan) was then heard, along with several taps and knocks heard within the area. Group then relocated, and conducted a circle (seance), where the entity of a lady who worked within the building came through.
END OF VIGIL

1st Vigil
‘Autopsy Room/Basement’
Group C (Phil & Mark)
*Group split into two parties, with Phil leading a group to the fridges area and Mark staying in the area designated as the autopsy room*
Fridges: breathing noises heard (not coming from group members), accompanied by a cold breath felt by several. Knocks heard on two occasions after requesting to copy our knocking. Light anomaly seen which seemed to be positioned on one of the members, but we could not replicate this when trying. Two group members experienced possible physical phenomenon, after apparently being touched.
Autopsy area: Ouija board experiment was conducted, with lots of personal information relating to one group member. The sound akin to a cat bell was also heard in this area at the time. One group member saw a light anomaly behind team leader Mark, who at the same thought someone was stood close behind him.
END OF VIGIL

1st Vigil
‘School House’
Group D (Paul Griffiths)
Conducted a circle, where a female came through. This person lived at Newsham (perhaps a patient/staff member?). The initial ‘I’ was given (relating to either first/last name?). This person was unhappy, although no reason was forthcoming. Several noises were heard in the area, and a light was seen within the corridor; nobody was in this area at the time.
END OF VIGIL

2nd Vigil
‘Zone 1’
Group B (Geoff & Gilly)
Standing seance was performed, where again a nurse came through (possibly the same entity as the 1st vigil in this area, only with a different group). Also a little boy came through. The nurse character apparently looked after the boy in spirit. Noises were heard on several occasions. Ouija board was attempted, but nothing of significance was noted.
END OF VIGIL

2nd Vigil
‘Naughty Boys’ corridor
Group C (Phil & Mark)
Several group members positioned themselves within the cubbyholes on this corridor, with several interesting incidents noted, including a Polo mint that apparently dropped from above and onto the floor, landing beside the feet of a group member. I asked if anyone had thrown this (in jest), but this was denied all round. Knocks and bangs were heard in response when asking to replicate ours. Scratching noises where also heard, seemingly emanating from within the cubbyholes. One group member had to move when she experienced the cubbyhole door that she was leaning against being pushed from the inside.

POSSIBLE SIGHTING: one group member believed she saw a child-like figure stood at the far end of the corridor, to the right in an area where I had positioned a small teddy-bear toy, and a toy windup musical box. Three members then went and stood in this area. After a few moments when someone flicked a torch on both the teddy-bear and music box toys had been tipped over. Again, I asked to ascertain if any of the members in that area had accidentally caught these, tipping them over, and again all were adamant that they had not moved at the time.
END OF VIGIL.

2nd Vigil
‘Autopsy Room / Basement’
Group D (Sara & Mandy)
K2 EMF meter kept going off inside one of the fridges. The group ascertained that this was a male presence. The trigger object experiment – which had been setup in this area – while deemed to have definitely moved it was only slightly. K2 EMF meter activity once again, this time in the autopsy area; two K2 meters were registering at the same time.
END OF VIGIL.

2nd Vigil
‘School House’
Group A (Sara)
Frank’s Box was used on this vigil where the names ‘John’, ‘Edward’, ‘June’ and (possibly) ‘Willy’ were noted. Faint music also heard within this area on a couple of occasions. The words ‘F**k’, ‘Eleven’ and ‘Sh**’ were then noted on the Frank’s Box.
END OF VIGIL

3rd Vigil
‘Zone 1’
Group C (Sara & Mandy)
Personal information given out during a ouija board experiment. K2 EMF meter was also active within this area, registering a reading several times. Knocks and bangs heard, and several people felt a breath on their neck. A door also appeared to open slightly, which could not be replicated when trying.
END OF VIGIL

3rd Vigil
‘Naughty Boys’ corridor
Group D (Geoff & Gilly)
Sadly this vigil proved to be very quiet, with nothing of significance being noted. END OF VIGIL

3rd Vigil
‘Autopsy Room / Basement’
Group A (Paul Griffiths)
Ouija board experiment saw a young girl communicating with the group. Born in 1877 and died in 1879. The letters ‘E-L-L-I-E’ were given on the board. One of the group members picked up on an old man, who was short and stocky, and may have been associated with the maintenance of the building, particularly the boiler.
END OF VIGIL

3rd Vigil
‘School House’
Group B (Phil & Mark)
A fairly quiet vigil. Possibly the sound of a chair being dragged across the floor briefly heard. A shuffle noise also heard in one of the upper rooms. The main door of the school house building was found to be open after closing it. And when we closed it once more, it was found open again shortly afterwards. When leaving this area to head back to the base room, both Mark and I watched the door to see if it was the wind blowing it open, but it never moved.
END OF VIGIL

4th Vigil
‘Zone 1’
Group D (Phil & Mark)
The K2 EMF meter kept going off during a ouija board session, which lasted for about 20 minutes or so. A dull thud heard (by Phil). Little else of note.
END OF VIGIL

4th Vigil
‘Naughty Boys’ corridor
Group A (Sara)
Possible moaning noise heard, and also a whining sound. Could not ascertain where these sounds came from. Again, this proved a quiet vigil overall.
END OF VIGIL

4th Vigil
‘Autopsy Room / Basement’
Group B (Geoff & Steve)
The odd noise and knock heard. Cold spots experienced and a breathing sound heard. END OF VIGIL

4th Vigil
‘School House’
Group C (Paul & Mandy)
Little of note.
END OF VIGIL

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2 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    Hi I would like to know are private tours of newsham available if so when and how much please

    Many thanks

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